Sunday 18 February 2018

There is truly no more bogus system in any marketplace than that which governs art

Kevin Myers

SO it turns out that Leonardo’s ‘Rearing Horse’ in the Hunt Museum in Limerick – one of the most popular exhibits there – is not a Leonardo at all. Metallurgical analysis has revealed that it was cast in the 19th century.

At best, its false attribution was a mistake, at worst, a forgery. Either way, its altered attribution not merely will cause it to forfeit its value as a prize exhibit, but it reveals once again the vital role of “whence” in our evaluation of the beauty of anything.

This is, in a way, a testament to the snobbery with which we invest almost all aesthetic values. We want our artefacts to have been touched by the hand of a known genius, rather than be the product of a Birmingham smelter.

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